Leaving Palma

At anchor near Andratx

After three weeks in Palma, with lots of guests and lots of boat work, we finally left two days ago and are now at anchor off Formentera, south of Ibiza.

Proper sailing at last

Improvements to the boat include: new water heater, new capacitors for the generator (one failed), new main halyard swivel (came from Ipswich) and new solar panels. Everything seems to be working well except the solar panels which appear to be producing only 3.5A out of a theoretical maximum of 18A. The boat draws 11-12A when sailing so we’d be happy with anything above 9A.

Tomorrow we’ve got a long day to the mainland (probably Calpe) then we gently sail down the coast to Gibraltar – more soon!

More Maintenance (& Improvements)

The AC panel has been tidied up with a new remote panel; the base of the mast has been prepared for painting; the tender cover has been repaired; the network has been tweaked; a new smart TV has been has been installed.

Back in Palma

New Genoa Installed

We left Gruissan a few days later than planned – flat tyre on the car, boatyard not ready to put the boat back in the water, bad weather, and finally, a broken tap in the guest head.

Eventually we set sail and sailed straight to Sóller, Mallorca – 202 nm in 29 hours. After a very pleasant quiet night in Sóller (for a change), it was round the coast to Palma and the home for the boat for the next few weeks.

There’s another long list of jobs before we’re ready to start the ARC+ in November – digital fuel and water guages and calibration, new chartplotters, a remote control panel for the generator (the panel on the genny is inaccessible), engine and generator service, new foresails (already installed) – the list goes on and on. We’re also filling the boat up with spare parts.

This weekend we had a break and hired a car. Yesterday we drove up to the north of the island and visited Polença and Alcudia. Today we went east to Santanyi and Cala Figuera. Back to work tomorrow!

It’s Starting to Feel Real

This is the year! In September we’ll start sailing to Gibraltar and then on to Gran Canaria for the ARC+ start in November. After December in the Carribean the World ARC starts in January 2023.

There’s lots to do before the start. We’re already doing online preparation seminars, there are new sails in the garage ready to go to the boat, and various work is planned in Palma for March and April.

More to follow…

ARC+ 2022 Route (starting, for us, in Palma)

Download World ARC 2023 Route for Google Earth/Maps

World ARC 2023 Route

Download World ARC 2023 Route for Google Earth/Maps

Back to Gruissan

After lots more maintenance and lots more visitors (Carol, Ruth, Jo, Spider, Gill, Andy) we left Palma on Wednesday 27 October for the short trip to Andratx before the long trip to Port Argelès-sur-Mer.

A final evening in Andratx (most of the mooring buoys had been removed) was very pleasant and the next morning we motored north to the Spanish mainland and on to the French border, ably assisted by Batty. Approaching Port Argelès-sur-Mer we flew the Code Zero (a lightweight sail for reaching) but after a few minutes a huge gust luffed us up and the bowsprit, holding the tack of the code zero, broke and the sail flogged itself to pieces.

The fun wasn’t quite over as the next morning at Port Argelès-sur-Mer the wind was Beaufort Force 9 gusting 10! Needless to say, we stayed put until early afternoon when the wind dropped and we motored the final 35 nm to Gruissan.

On Sunday we spent the morning preparing Mistral for the winter e.g. removing sails, protecting lines, removing the bimini, filling the fuel tank etc. The boat will be at Gruissan for the winter before new adventures in 2022.

Thanks to everyone who helped us in 2021 – friends, family and contractors!

Maintenance Week

Releasing the Outhaul
Releasing the Outhaul

Chartplotter, mainsail furling, mainsail service, RPM gauge repair, rust stains from cleats, loose oil breather pipe, the list goes on and on. It would seem endless without the help of Mike and Guardian Yacht Services.

Round the Island

Mallorca, that is.

With Shirls on board again and fair weather forecast, we thought we’d sail clockwise around Mallorca.

On The Beach
On The Beach

Our route was Palma – Andratx – Soller – Deia – Soller – Pollensa – Port Petro – Sa Rapita beach – Palma. The fun started in Deia when we dropped anchor to go to lunch at the famous Sa Foradada restaurant. The anchor got stuck in rocks, I missed lunch, and we waited until 1015 the next morning for a diver to come and free our anchor.

After a second night in Soller (wind and rain, lots of boats having problems in the middle of the night) we continued on to Pollensa, Port Petro, the beautiful Sa Rapita beach and back to Palma. But not before the cockpit chartplotter packed up and the mainsail refused to furl. The joys of boat ownership.

August in the Balearics

August has been and gone and with it some of our guests – Laura, Rory, Laura 2, the Nicols family (Calum, Ceri, Isabel, Mia and Tilly), Amanda and Valerie.

We’ve done mostly short trips exploring the south of Mallorca and anchoring overnight when the weather was suitable. Cala Blanca, Andratx, Soller, Deia, Sa Rapita and Las Isletas have all been visited at least once. We’re looking forward to returning to Portals Vells but in August it was always too crowded.

It was lovely having our French neighbours on board (neighbours in France, not French!). Everybody did plenty of eating, drinking, swimming and snorkelling, and we even managed an evening of Mario Kart!

Sailing Again

We are finally on the water at last! The boat reentered the water at Gruissan at the beginning of August and since then we’ve sailed to Argeles-sur-Mer, Palamos, Barcelona, Soller (Mallorca) and Palma. 296 nm.

The leg from Barcelona to Soller (on the North-West coast of Mallorca) was particularly noteworthy. We had a force 6 on our beam for most of the day and we blasted along at 8-9 kt! The maximum (GPS) speed we saw was 9.3 kt and the average for the passage was 7.7kt.

Round the World Postponed

A few weeks ago we made the decision to postpone our round-the-world trip by twelve months, and a little while later the World Arc 2022 was cancelled.

We made the call because Australia and New Zealand seem to be pursuing a zero-covid policy that might result in closures and lockdowns for many months to come. And much of the Western Pacific is still closed to leisure sailors, and people tell us that is the highlight of the trip.

This summer we will be sailing the Balearic Islands again, this time with friends and family joining us from time to time. Next year (2022) we will sail across the Atlantic with the ARC+ (Gran Canaria – Cape Verde – Grenada) and then see what the rest of the world looks like. We very much hope enough of the world will be open in time for us to leave the Caribbean in January 2023 on the World ARC.